I’ve done this drive a million times.
It can be slow and painful, my vision filled with the red blur of brake lights.
This morning it was quick and calm, the road empty and open.
Sometimes it is dark, the sun asleep and the world lit by the moon or nothing at all.
This morning the sun had just risen, the cold wind making the trees dance and my car swerve.
Sometimes there is a brunette or blonde head in my rear view mirror, nonstop chatter and giggles.
This morning I’m solo, only Christmas music in my ear.
Often this ride leaves me anxious, butterflies in my stomach at the thought of having to say goodbye.
This morning the butterflies came in the form of excitement; anticipation of the surprise on faces as Santa lives on.
The drive. The drive. The drive.
Many families wake up to presents, half eaten cookies and coffee in pajamas.
We do too. But first we gotta do that drive.
To all my fellow coparents and blended families out there- know I'm with you on that drive.
Right there with you.
Much love and Merry Christmas!
Let me tell you about my day.
Have you ever gotten into bed at night and wondered if it was possible to have a do-over? Like that movie with Adam Sandler where he can use his TV remote to rewind or fast forward parts of his day- what's it called? Oh yeah, Click.
I wish I had that remote today.
It started mundane enough. The normal, stubborn toddler who doesn't want to put a shirt on, wants mom to carry him everywhere and oh yeah, doesn't want to wear that coat either. The usual 8-year-old who can run a football field at lightening speed, but is as slow as a sloth eating molasses while sitting on a turtle in the mornings. And the cute pig-tailed girl whose first tattoo will likely be "looks can be deceiving."
Let's not even go into detail about the fact that I don't have before school care for my son right now (long story), or the ridiculous commute and traffic we sit in to get him to school (even longer story), or the fact that work lately has consisted of days that feel like they last forever, yet still end with a "to do" list that is longer than when the day started.
Let's just fast forward to the moment I got a text that surprise, my son has basketball evaluations this evening. At his school. Which, as previously mentioned, is a ridiculous commute with horrible traffic. Which meant that the only solution was to rely on his dad to get him there, cut my one night to go to the gym down to a workout that pretty much consisted of walking into the gym and then walking back out, rush to get home, rush to grab basketball shoes, rush to get above mentioned cute pig-tailed girl buckled in behind me, rush to grab a super healthy happy meal and lemonade and rush to... sit in traffic.
And then let's fast forward to the exact moment of the day that made me wish I had Adam Sandler's magical remote.
The moment that I looked at my son on the court and could see the nerves breaking him, tears streaming down his face. The annoyance I felt welling up in me- because he's eight and he's an athlete and he's good at this stuff and damn it, he's too old for this shit. And at that exact same moment, a squeaky 3-year-old voice saying "Mama, I sorry, I sorry," as I feel a tug on my jacket and look down find myself standing in a small lake of lemonade.
That moment... and the emotional and physical cleanup that ensued... lasted all but a few minutes. My son got himself together and went back on the court. The lemonade was cleaned up. We moved on and went home. Eventually, I sat down at the computer to tell you all about this horrible, awful, no good, very bad day.
And then I realized something.
That 8-year-old tumbled out of bed this morning and immediately sought out a big bear hug from his mama. That cute pig-tailed girl belly laughed as I made her teddy bear talk and dance while helping her get dressed. And my baby boy- he reached for me from his crib and snuggled his blonde head into my neck as I carried him to the living room.
There were I love you's and kisses and hugs. There were phone conversations in which two people are so familiar with each other, minimal words are needed but "I love you" is always how it's ended. There was laughter with co-workers, small successes and things crossed off the list (even if more things were added).
And I realize, sitting here and typing this, how easily we can let one moment overshadow the entire rest of the day.
Because this really wasn't about a horrible, awful, no good, very bad day. This was about one small horrible, awful, no good, very bad moment.
And just like all moments do, it passed. And that one moment was surrounded by lots of pretty great moments.
So take a breath, Mama (and Daddy). The crappy moments will pass and the beautiful moments are plenty.
Even if you are walking around with sticky lemonade shoes for the rest of the evening.